Kohlrabi Noodle Stir-Fry is a healthy, satisfying dinner that’s done in just about 40 minutes—even faster if you meal prep in advance. Substituting Kohlrabi for actual noodles or rice cuts the carbs and calories!
Kohlrabi Noodle Stir-Fry: first, what is kohlrabi??
For my Farmers’ Market Adventures food-blogging challenge a few years ago, I tasked myself with picking up an item of produce that 1) was in the peak of its season and 2) I’d never cooked with before each time I visited a Farmers’ Market. This way, each trip to the FM felt like an adventure (thus the name of the series).
For this installment, I had a “what is THAT??” moment at the market, which naturally meant that I had to pick up some kohlrabi. As I stood at the farmers’ market stand, I was faced with a vegetable that looked mildly repulsive and that I had absolutely no idea how to use. They look like little baby heads, or like one of those grass-type Pokemon characters. (Yes, even F-OF is aware of the high-tech manifestation of the zombie apocalypse that is Pokemon Go.)
Again, I was forced to consult the interwebs to find out exactly what kohlrabi was, and what to do with it. I discovered that kohlrabi belongs to the same family as kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
I peeled it and sliced off a sliver to assess its texture and flavor. Texturally speaking, I’d say that kohlrabi lies somewhere in between radish, potato, apple, and broccoli stem. Its flavor reminded me of a mild cross between cabbage and broccoli, with a hint of radish in the background.
I credit my sister with the idea of spiralizing the kohlrabi. The idea of kohlrabi noodle stir-fry immediately appealed to me, since I recently fell in love with my spiralizer. I decided to make the kohlrabi noodle stir-fry with beef and lots of veggies (yes, I do that a lot).
This was the first time that I had ventured outside the zoodles box. I am happy to report that the texture of kohlrabi noodles holds up to the high heat better than does zucchini; further, it adds a nice, mild, mustard-radishy flavor. In fact, the hubster announced that he prefers kohlrabi noodles (koodles? Kohlraboodles? Nah…let’s just leave it at kohlrabi noodles).
For the protein in my kohlrabi noodle stir-fry, I had some thin-sliced ribeye on hand that I found at an Asian market. I had planned to use it in a Bulgogi recipe, but I figured that it would be great this way too. This stir-fry would also be a fantastic vegetarian dish, of course, or you could use chicken, pork, or even shrimp (just adjust your cooking times as needed).
The sauce for this kohlrabi noodle stir-fry is a spicy twist on a teriyaki-inspired concoction that I use in many stir-fry dishes, with mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and a hit of chili-garlic satay sauce. I thicken it with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of cold water.
I have all sorts of ideas for additional things to try with kohlrabi: my impression is that it has boundless versatility, much like broccoli. It would be fantastic in a cold “noodle” salad, for example—especially with both red and green kohlrabi. Soups, risotto, salads (I imagine it shaved thin over mixed greens)…even frittatas.
Now I HAVE to buy more kohlrabi: it’s Phil’s preferred veggie noodle! If you’re not in the mood to spiralize, this meal would also be fantastic with actual noodles: I like to make alkaline noodles (Serious Eats has a great tutorial on that here) and toss them with the stir-fry and sauce right before serving. Or simply serving over rice works too.
Note that if you spiralize the kohlrabi and prep all of the veggies in advance (I do mine the night before), this meal comes together in about 15 minutes—perfect for a crazy-busy weeknight!
For more crazy-busy weeknight dinner inspiration, check out Mastering Easy One-Pot Meal Recipes!
- 1 lb. pre-sliced ribeye
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1- inch section of ginger peeled and sliced
- 1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil
- 3 small kohlrabi peeled and spiralized
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced on the bias
- 1 large onion cut into large dice
- 1 pint shiitake mushrooms cleaned, stems removed, & sliced.
- 1- inch section of ginger peeled & finely minced
- 3 tbsp. garlic finely minced
- 2 cups cabbage coarsely chopped
- 3 scallions thinly sliced on the bias
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar or Splenda
- 1 tbsp. satay sauce I used 2, but we're chili-heads here
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. cold water
- more if needed: see Note
Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a ziptop bag with the beef. Massage into the meat and allow to marinate in the refrigerator up to 8 hours.
Mix the soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, satay sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl; set aside.
Remove the beef from the marinade; discard marinade. Set a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil: when it begins to shimmer, add a few slices of beef at a time and quickly sear both sides until caramelized. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining beef, reducing heat slightly if needed.
If necessary, wipe any fat out of the pan and add more peanut oil. Add the onions and carrots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms. Stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Add the cabbage; stir-fry until wilted. Add the scallions and kohlrabi; stir to combine.
Move the vegetables to the outer edges of the wok as best as you can (if you have a small wok, you may need to remove some veggies and add them back in at the end). Add the sauce to the center of the pan. Re-stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the sauce; mix well. Allow the sauce to boil briefly until thickened; remove from the heat (see Recipe Note #1). Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice (noodles, zoodles, or zucchini squash also work well). Enjoy!
- If you like a thicker sauce, simply combine another tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and mix in. Briefly boil until thickened.
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